Building and growing a web-based practice takes time and dedication. The process may seem overwhelming at first, but there is much to be said about being able to deliver legal services online and run your law practice from your house, a coffee shop, or even while traveling abroad. We here at Legal Productivity have rounded up some of the must-have tools to run a virtual law firm.
1. A Good Website
The lack of a brick-and-mortar office means that you’ll have to have some way of being found. Investing in a good website is an absolutely MUST, whether that means hiring a good designer or going the DIY route. Sites such as Wix or Squarespace will allow you to design your own website, and will also offer tools for marketing and analytics. As you add more content or start a blog, you’ll want to upgrade to a content management system such as WordPress. See: 10 Surprising Stats on Law Firm Websites [Infographic].
2. Virtual Communication and Collaboration Software
As an attorney, meeting with associates and clients is an important part of the job. It can also be difficult if you’re not physically in the same room as them. Connecting eye to eye and being able to convey emotion to your clients is incredibly important when it comes to establishing trust. It’s because of this that cloud collaboration technology that interacts with your webcam is a must. Explore options such as Skype, GoToMeeting, and Google+ Hangouts. See, also: Slack: An Effective Communication Platform For Law Firms.
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3. A Dedicated Phone Number
Being virtual is all about saving money and not being tied down to any one location. This means not having a landline keeping you grounded to any particular location. You also don’t want to use your personal number for both business and pleasure. Internet calling solutions such as Google Voice, Grasshopper, and Line2 will allow you to set up a dedicated phone number that is filtered through your existing phone. You can also look for a service with voicemail transcriptions, conference calls, call recording, and other invaluable features.
4. Document Signing Software
The days of printing, signing, and faxing are long gone. When it comes to documents that require a signature, invest in a digital signing application like DocuSign. You’ll be able to access and sign documents on your computer or mobile device. If you require the signature of another party, you can upload documents from your computer, send an email alert, and indicate where all signatures and/or initials are needed.
5. Cloud Legal Practice Management
As a virtual attorney it is imperative that you have the ability to manage your entire firm from anywhere. This is where a good cloud practice management program comes in. All-in-one software like Rocket Matter will allow you to stay on top of calendars and tasks, invoice clients and accept online payments, organize documents with unlimited storage, a portal to exchange documents and communicate with clients, and much, much more. Not only can you access your information on your computer, but the cloud ensures you have access to your information 24/7 from your mobile devices as well. See: The Importance of Legal Practice Management Software in Today’s Law Firms.